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Astron. Astrophys. 325, 228-236

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HST-GHRS observations
of candidate Pictoris-like circumstellar gaseous disks*

A. Lecavelier des Etangs1, M. Deleuil2, A. Vidal-Madjar1, A-M. Lagrange-Henri3, D. Backman4, J.J. Lissauer5,6, R. Ferlet1, H. Beust3, and D. Mouillet3

1Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98 bis boulevard Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
2Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale, CNRS, BP 8, F-13376 Marseille Cedex 12, France
3Groupe d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, CERMO BP53X, F-38041 Grenoble Cedex, France
4Physics and Astronomy Dept, Franklin and Marshall College, P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster PA 17604, USA
5Astronomy Program, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, State University of New York, Stony Brook NY 11794, USA
6Space Science Division, Mail Stop 245-3, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA

Received 28 August 1996 / Accepted 20 March 1997


We present HST-GHRS observations of four stars in search of FORMULA Pictoris -like circumstellar gaseous disks. We detected gas around HR 10, HR 2174 and 51 Oph at large distances from the stars; this gas is circumstellar since the absorption lines from very excited levels require densities incompatible with those found in the diffuse interstellar medium. The shape of the lines and the Mg II doublet ratio give evidence that clumpy gas is continuously falling onto these stars. Possible interpretations are discussed.

Key words: stars: circumstellar matter; planetary systems - stars: FORMULA Pictoris - line: formation - ISM: clouds

*Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc., under NASA Contract NAS5-26555.

Send offprint requests to: A. Lecavelier des Etangs

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997